Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fact Checking

I'm a little more than halfway through Matthew Reilly's book Ice Station, a military adventure featuring a tough US Marine called Shane "Scarecrow" Schofield. Reilly has a clear writing style and there are some terrific set-pieces which would work wonderfully on film. The action's a tad Hollywood rather than being grounded in cold, hard realism but that's a feature not a bug. It's a fun read and if you're into military-themed action-adventure then you'll probably like it.

So far my biggest complaint is with the lousy weaponry mistakes- he writes of US Special Forces using a Ruger pump action shotgun, a character carries a Colt Desert Eagle and at one point someone fires an M-60 grenade launcher.

It's silly stuff- the kind of thing that a few minutes on-line by the author would correct, or that an editor (you would think) would be able to fix. Still, it bugs me- if Reilly wants to create new weapons systems I'm all for it. By all means, equip Scarecrow's Recon team with the latest M23 Carbine in 8mm KA-BLAM, but if you're going to use real world weapons, at least have the courtesy to have a look at what you're writing about so that you don't confuse this for that.

Here endeth the rant.


BobG said...

You have to remember that he is from Australia; they don't have as much exposure to modern guns as we do here in the US.

Jim said...


I can remember thinking the exact same thing as I read the Scarecrow series of books.


tjbbpgob said...

I read a lot of books of that genre and as soon as they start making their weapons mistakes I usually trow the book out. I won't even let others read the book by recycling.